If you think south of France is the most beautiful part of France, think again. It certainly is glamorous but there are so many other quaint little towns that are quintessentially French. Colmar is one of those. It’s a town in the North East of France, bordering Germany. And I can tell you that it’s definitely in the top 10 places to visit for me.
If you don’t live in this part of the world, I doubt that you would have heard of the town. Unless of course you are a big travel enthusiast like I am! Every time I think of this place it brings a smile to my face and how I long to go back once again maybe just to explore the many museums it holds. The last time we went we just had a weekend and it wasn’t enough because we also combined a theme park for the children. We definitely need to return to this place…maybe for the lovely Easter markets during spring or one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the wintertime spread over the old town. We as a family love to explore a city on foot. I think that is the best way to get a feel of the culture, the food, the architecture, the people, the language, the shops and so much more. As I was walking down the cobbled streets of Colmar it sort of felt unreal. Like I was in a storybook. The houses in the old part of the town were nothing like the houses we live in. There were hearts hanging from the windows, hearts on the doors, cuddly teddies looking out from inside the houses, colourful little flowers there to ornate the wonderful cosy homes and big huge flowers screaming out to catch your attention. I still can’t believe that real people live in those houses. Those houses felt more like dolls houses. How I would love to go inside and explore one of the homes. Maybe the next time I make a friend there who just might invite me for a cup of coffee! The adornment is not just limited to the homes. We found a brasserie that reminded me of a house from one of the German fairytales, perhaps Hansel and Gretel but instead of candies it was all hearts outside.
There is a little canal flowing through the town making the region famous as little Venice. It is a real sight. I could spend hours taking pictures and it would still not do justice to the ambience of the place. It is a treat to go boating in the canal gorging on the beautiful yet surreal houses lined up on the sides. The architecture dates back to early renaissance and the old town is extremely well preserved. You wont miss the St. Martin church, which stands tall in one of the main squares, surrounded by delightful cafes and restaurants.
The Little Prince Park
It took us one whole day to just walk around the old part of Colmar and we could not visit any of the museums. There are some amazing art museums and a toy museum for children. We would definitely need to go back to do justice to the city. However, we did plan something really special for the children. Just about 20 minutes drive from Colmar is the Little Prince Park. I am sure you would have heard the story of Le Petit Prince by the French writer, aristocrat, poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery. My daughter is in love with this book and so we just had to take her to the only theme park in the world based on this wonderful story. It had amazing rides that make you feel like you’re a part of the story. In addition, there are theatrical performances, which is such a unique concept for a theme park. It is unlike any other theme park that I have been to and it was perfect for my 3 year old and 5 year old. Generally the children are too little to do most of the rides in the theme parks but I am happy to say that they did each and every ride in this park in a day’s time. This was by far their favourite them park if I don’t count Disneyland! So if you plan to visit Colmar and you have little kids, this is a must do!
If you haven’t visited Colmar yet, put this one on your list. And the Little Prince Park will be a big hit with young children.
I will come back soon with my next adventure. Till then keep exploring and bon voyage!